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All About Massage Therapists

Position Description Perform therapeutic massages of soft tissues and joints. May assist in the assessment of range of motion and muscle strength, or propose client therapy plans.

What Do Massage Therapists Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Massage and knead muscles and soft tissues of the body to provide treatment for medical conditions, injuries, or wellness maintenance.
  • Consult with other health care professionals, such as physiotherapists, chiropractors, physicians, and psychologists, to develop treatment plans for clients.
  • Confer with clients about their medical histories and problems with stress or pain to determine how massage will be most helpful.
  • Prepare and blend oils and apply the blends to clients' skin.
  • Refer clients to other types of therapists when necessary.
  • Use complementary aids, such as infrared lamps, wet compresses, ice, and whirlpool baths to promote clients' recovery, relaxation, and well-being.

Massage Therapist Skills

When polled, Massage Therapists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Types of Massage Therapist Jobs

  • Swedish Masseuse
  • Deep Tissue Massage Therapist
  • Bodywork Therapist
  • Skin Therapist
  • Massage Therapist

Job Outlook for Massage Therapists

In the United States, there were 160,300 jobs for Massage Therapist in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 26.3% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 42,100 new jobs for Massage Therapist by 2026. There will be an estimated 22,600 positions for Massage Therapist per year.


The states with the most job growth for Massage Therapist are Washington, Utah, and Tennessee. Watch out if you plan on working in Maryland, Vermont, or Kansas. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Massage Therapist Average Salary

The typical yearly salary for Massage Therapists is somewhere between $21,340 and $78,280.


Massage Therapists who work in Alaska, Washington, or Oregon, make the highest salaries.

How much do Massage Therapists make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $34,890
Alaska $82,280
Arizona $42,340
Arkansas $41,890
California $41,460
Colorado $46,190
Connecticut $43,170
District of Columbia $40,890
Florida $46,240
Georgia $37,210
Hawaii $61,750
Idaho $50,560
Illinois $46,340
Indiana $48,650
Iowa $40,030
Kansas $29,370
Kentucky $52,960
Louisiana $30,060
Maine $43,450
Maryland $42,430
Massachusetts $53,750
Michigan $42,710
Minnesota $52,910
Mississippi $29,080
Missouri $37,100
Montana $46,500
Nebraska $45,340
Nevada $29,620
New Hampshire $47,360
New Jersey $44,610
New Mexico $42,260
New York $52,830
North Carolina $41,560
North Dakota $39,640
Ohio $39,370
Oklahoma $41,770
Oregon $64,360
Pennsylvania $42,730
Rhode Island $40,970
South Carolina $41,440
South Dakota $34,350
Tennessee $44,190
Texas $49,100
Utah $40,880
Vermont $44,580
Virginia $38,990
Washington $62,520
West Virginia $34,750
Wisconsin $42,440
Wyoming $43,060

What Tools & Technology do Massage Therapists Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Massage Therapists:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Word processing software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Scheduling software

How do I Become a Massage Therapist?

Learn what Massage Therapist education requirements there are.


How many years of work experience do I need?


Where do Massage Therapists Work?


The table below shows the approximate number of Massage Therapists employed by various industries.


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Image Credit: Senior Airman Melanie Bulow-Kelly via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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